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Why Higher Card Rates Make Credit Card Debt Reduction a Priority

Todays Date: December 15, 2018

Credit card debt reduction has taken on added importance lately. The reason? The average rates paid on credit cards has been edging upward since the beginning of this year. What does this mean for credit card borrowers is that there are greater risks. Here, we will explore three of the reasons for upgrading credit card debt reduction to the top of your To-Do list.

Higher Rates Mean Higher Costs

By paying higher rates on cards, borrowers are obviously wasting more money. It may seem like peanuts over the course of any given month, but over the course of a year or even compounding that potential growth gives a more accurate picture. Debtors realize that the more debt they carry at higher rates actually impedes their ability to save for a rainy day, something that has become a little more important with so many people out of work. By taking a strong credit card debt reduction strategy, people will improve cash flow and manage to save a little more.

Higher Rates Hurt Credit Scores

By bumping rates, even gradually, card lenders make the debt repayment process a lot slower. Consider that a 1% increase on a $10,000 balance translates into an extra $100 in interest, or 1/3 of most minimum payments. This means that Utilization (the amount of credit outstanding compared to what it is available) remains high. With Utilization contributing more than 1/3 of the FICO score, it makes credit card debt reduction even more urgent…

Higher Rates Can Increase Delinquencies

When you consider that many people are losing income right now, credit card debt reduction itself becomes difficult at best. However, when you bump rates, you make it even more difficult for regular folks to make ends meet and, consequently, delinquencies arise. The difference now is that the “delinquent” amounts are higher because interest has been capitalized, allowing balances to get out of control a lot of faster.

Evidently, credit card debt reduction has become a priority among individuals and government alike. The risks to the borrower are obvious, starting with reduced cash flow that will impact people’s ability to save; potential damage to credit scores which can sometimes last up to seven years; and higher delinquencies.

By making credit card debt reduction a priority now, borrowers will be better equipped to weather a worsening interest-rate climate. While higher rates might not seem like such a deal-breaker on a month-to-month basis, the trend has been that rates are rising at a pace of 1% every quarter, meaning the average card rate could reach 16% by the end of this year.

With more than 16 years of experience in the financial services industry, Chris has helped thousands of people with
debt management strategies. He maintains a regularly updated blog at How To Repay Debt.com.

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